trle.net
Level: BtB2010 - Kill Jill back home search
Author(s): Soul
total rating:8.75 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 9 10 10 10
Bogey 9 10 9 9
Cory 9 9 9 9
DJ Full 9 9 9 8
dmdibl 9 10 8 9
Dutchy 9 9 9 10
eTux 9 9 8 7
Eva 10 10 10 10
jawi 7 6 7 7
Jay 10 9 9 9
Jorge22 8 8 8 9
Jose 8 7 8 9
Magnus 6 6 6 5
manarch2 9 9 8 7
masha 10 9 9 8
MichaelP 9 8 9 9
Minox 9 8 8 8
Mman 9 9 9 9
Mytly 10 10 8 8
Obig 8 9 8 9
Phil 8 9 9 9
Raymond 10 10 9 9
Relic Hunter 9 9 9 8
repley 10 10 7 8
Ruben 8 9 10 10
Scottie 10 9 10 10
Shandroid 10 9 8 8
SSJ6Wolf 9 10 9 9
TheStig 8 8 8 8
Treeble 9 10 10 10
category averages
(30 reviews)
8.90 8.90 8.60 8.60

Reviewer's comments

"Gameplay in this level is just what I would like to see in every game - highly creative, never repetitive and full of great puzzles and tasks never seen before. Although maybe too much of the great tasks are related to the secrets and thus not an integral element of the game, there's still enough to enjoy even without going for those, like the boulder puzzle, the very good harp puzzle (even if a little tedious), timed runs which require extreme raiding qualities (the hardest being optional though) and overall great ideas concerning progression - I mainly speak of the excellent "transportation" of the torch to the starting area, a task which is (or should) be clear right from the beginning. There's not much of exploration in this level, but this level doesn't really need it. The only smaller issues I had were some non-resettable puzzles which can cause you to use earlier savegames, but that's about it - this game's one of the few out there which manage to please from start to finish - at least gameplaywise. The looks aren't quite that inspired, with an overall very constantly grey lighting which looks rather amateurish, spiced up with a few odd lights that don't really help out either, and generally the texturing should have received a more careful polish-up. With the inside rooms, Soul has proved he is able to create decently lit areas though, and there's a mystical feeling to the level which is quite well realised despite some faults. So despite some reservations against the visual outcome of this level, I'd highly recommend it as one of the most unique and creative out there, best taken when you feel qualified enough to get all of the secrets, which will improve your feeling of this level even more than it would be otherwise. 50 minutes." - manarch2 (02-Apr-2014)

"Let it be on record: I played the entire level with the walkthrough at hand. As such, there was no real challenge although I still appreciated the ingenuity behind some of the puzzles - although I did find some of them over elaborated. That's not to say it's a bad thing, of course: although I've played quite a fair share of the custom levels I've been way out of the loop for some time and was rather impressed with the boulder puzzle in here. There's a wide variety of environments, each carefully crafted and textured, so it never seems to get bland. I enjoyed the level overall, but I am also sure I'd be extremely frustrated if I took my usual carefree approach. 55 minutes, 3 secrets. 02/14" - Treeble (01-Mar-2014)

"Very great level, there are many things to do before finding the path to open the last door. The environment is typically Venice.The buildings and roofs was a bit too squared.Much reflection to find the final puzzle with harps to climb up to open the way of the torch.Good work." - Minox (14-Mar-2011)

"At first, one can think the game is too dark. Also me - I don't like when a whole level is so gloomy. This can freak out some players at the very beginning. Also, some parts of the game appear way too rectangular, and compared to some other BTB levels, they look simply boxy. If You can get over this, and progress a little bit, the game will entertain You. At first, there is simple jumping: if a guard hears Lara, he raises a block and You can say goodbye to a secret. Next, You enter a room full of crates, and behold the first puzzle in this game: how to get that key out from between the boxes? This seems to be easy and typical... but in the meantime, in a just perfect moment, a bad guy appears and - no matter if You want it or not - he lets some thrill into Your mind, what makes You wonder what will happen next. And when You start to think like that - welcome to the game. You're in until You reach a disappointing, linear Mask part - btw, created the way You can easily miss one half. Not good. Also, the underwater switch puzzle contains a bug that might prevent You from finishing the game. But when these puzzles are solved, You are captured by a sink and fall, also ingame again. From now on, if You bin this game or love it, depends on Your raiding skills only, as some hints will be shown that are outstandingly creative, and using game elements most builders would've never thought about, especially the hint presenting the right combination for 5 levers in the crypt, and the one telling us how to behave in the rainbow boulders part (note: You can spot the latter hint earlier ingame - that was my fault I spotted it later, so I also write about it a little bit later in the review, for the review to show my way of progressing through the level). Anyway, most players will simply not solve those puzzles. It's NOT Soul's mistake - I can't imagine him creating an easier puzzle of similar kind somewhere in the beginning of the game, for players to prepare their brains - because doing so would simply make those (existing) riddles senseless. If one can't solve these puzzles, it means he/she has not enough raiding experience. But if one is used to encounter ANY way of creation, and manages to solve a riddle as puzzling as these we find here, satisfaction is sufficient to even make backtracking not annoying. We backtrack three times in this game, and every time it occurs, it either happens with a crucial key item in our backpack (or hand), or after getting the Experts Trophy, when we need to pass those trapdoors and can use that Rose to make it easier - so we feel relieved and don't mind reversing a familiar path. It's a simple way of un-frustrating players, and very effective. But it's still not the strongest point of the game. It is the secrets - apart from the last one (annoying, forcing a player to repeat a whole sequence of moves after every fail), all Secret Roses are great - getting them require various skills: agility, observation, stealth, foreseeing a future event... And they are not easy ones. That's how secrets should be designed: if You are after something more than normal gameplay, if You want to challenge Yourself - then search for them and get Your reward. But that's not all to say about the Roses. Let's say we have several different locations seeming not to relate with each other. Actually, the further we progress ingame, the more we unlock and realize all these places are a single path leading to a secret. If You think I made a spoiler here - You are wrong, because this level is constructed in such way that You will not know which places I told You about until You find them Yourself and recognize them as the needed ones. If we are already speaking about construction: many times in this game, You will get from point A to some remote point B, and suddenly realize You're back in point A in a moment You would never expect. I like this - usually, before You get lost, You are found again. And even if You go the wrong way, getting back on the right path takes seconds only, because everything is built without oversizement at all. SUMMARY: Multum Difficultum (62 mins). Not a game for everyone. So if You aren't experienced enough and decide to take it on - You WILL underrate it. (I also regret I played this level so early in my trle life - I think I wouldn't've got stuck in the rainbow boulders puzzle if I KNEW one feature of the Editor I didn't have an idea about... Eeeh! Gotta PM Soul for another tutorial, heheheh.) So if You feel uneasy about Your skills - wait for a better moment to play this game. But extreme raiders will enjoy exploring well-constructed environment, filled with high density of hidden passages, creative riddles and challenging agility tests." - DJ Full (30-Jan-2011)

"This was one of the few BTB levels I had the privilege to beta-test and I was already very impressed by what looked like a strong début (the author's A Special Tutorial Level had not been released at the time of the testing yet). It soon becomes apparent how he likes his gameplay - slightly on the challenging side - so not to commit the builder's-suicide a lot of the more juicy gameplay elements are actually built around the level's 5 secrets. Leaving the difficult and more obscure optional is a smart decision, but the secrets and normal gameplay are so interlaced, that at times they are hard to tell apart and that didn't work so much in favour of the game. The fact that you have to get one secret to simplify one of the final jump sequences, or discovering that the hunt for the yellow key and the entire elaborate harp puzzle are essentially so you can open the way to get to another secret illustrate this drawback. Yet the tasks that are there (for secrets or otherwise) are quite clever - the stop-boulder puzzle, the stealth-carpet puzzle, the aqueducts and even the diabolical trapdoor/torch jump easily amounted to some of my favourite moments. Had the gameplay overall been more structured, more compact (less is more sometimes), and the secrets and normal gameplay more set apart, this could've come across stronger. The looks are decent, but don't stand out for anything in particular and are overshadowed by the impressions the tasks leave anyway. It's worth playing definitely, but may be enjoyed more by the players with a bit of experience. Left this with 5 secrets and the expert's trophy." - eTux (28-Jan-2011)

"Introducing story is intriguing. Lara has to solve a mystery. So what’s the solution? Mainly going through strange areas and thinking how to not die from boredom. I don’t want to be harsh, but I was bored with this level. There are no eye-catching places, atmosphere is decent and texturing doesn’t blow my mind. Gameplay presents itself a little bit better – my favourite part is in the library, where you can’t walk on the wooden tiles to prevent from alarming the guard. Other gameplay parts are less interesting, but still quite creative. Nevertheless, I had to check up walkthrough every 5 minutes – I don’t know whether it means that I’m too weak or that the game is too hard, but it’s certainly annoying. Good idea is the ‘Expert Trophy’ (I gave up myself). Visually the level doesn’t stand high. Texturing is ok (one place, where the texture wasn’t double sided), as well as lighting, but architecture is quite poor though. I’d also like to see more objects, not also those who are necessary for gameplay. Some more weapons given would be nice too. Author has placed few flyby cameras, but I found them weird. There were too fast I suppose. Playing this level I thought that it’s a little bit like ‘Clockwork Orange”, but it definitely has worse graphics. If you like challenges and you love being a hardcore then try it out. I’m sure you’ll have fun. But I’m a pacifist, so I don’t like going around and killing people and definitely women like Jill." - jawi (25-Dec-2010)

"Oh you TR fan! Look inside of you! Do you really miss an adrenaline bomb? If you do then this advernture is for you! :) Well, not the advernture itself is the most important but to find all the secrets, specially the Experts Trophy. The game itself is a bit lame, the only „hard” part is a timed run. Buti f you can find all the sercets even with the walktrhough then i salute you. Well, get ready for everything. If i were you i would get a spare keyboard. For me it took a week to find all 5 secrets and the Experts Trophy. To be honest, there were 3 day when i just couldn’t even see the game because i was really nervous. But get ready fo the This game is the adventure and if you get stuck you can use my saves. best for Hardcore gamers buti f you are a beginner and you are looking for a game to relax then i wouldn’t recommend this one for you. As i said there weren’t too much medipack int he game but in fact you won’t need them because only a few bats, armed guys and at the end an evil woman to worry about. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: http://treditor.hu/trle/treditor/10/btb2010_11_kill_jill.htm" - Obig (01-Jun-2010)

"A good example here of a level that requires you to think out of the box. I'll confess however before I resorted to the walk-through I reached a point where I felt so helplessly stone-walled that I very nearly put it down and moved on to another level. The area in question is an under water lever which opens a trap-door to the sewers. I had about 10 goes at doing this before deciding that the 2nd door in the room must somehow need to be opened before proceeding (as the time given to reach the trap-door was so short). However once the walk through pointed me in the right direction I was able to start making better progress through the level. Most of the game's elements are fraily spread-out, and very non-linear. The amount of work you put in during the earlier stages (solving puzzles like the rolling ball room etc), have an impact on how complex the return journey is with the torch you need to access the last part of the level. Lighting and object placement are of a high standard, and the author hasnt fallen into the trap of producing a 'flat' venice level with pleanty of climbing and descending to be done to get you through. Gameplay for me (getting hoplessly lost at the beginning), ran to 2 hours. Stiggy." - TheStig (15-May-2010)

"This was another great installment in the Venice BtB. I thought the puzzles were very good and I loved how the player could use the secrets immediately, which worked great except perhaps for one time. I was not too thrilled to have thrown a lever first before placing a rose and then had to listen to those awful platforms throughout a very long, but brilliant puzzle using crosses. I did not like the bright colored lighted crosses and the star background. That didn't fit the place at all. Sadly, the final boss fight was a complete letdown as well. Everything was superb until the end which felt rushed." - Shandroid (14-Mar-2010)

"A very complete level half lineal with a lot of tasks to do. Good ideas and a typical Venice environment. Some interesting puzzles, better look for at least a secret if you don't want to do an almost impossible timed run near the end. Good atmosphere with correct cameras and musics, some secrets are very difficult to find. Good work, but best for expert players." - Jose (01-Mar-2010)

"At the very beginning you wonder about a few odd switches and what they do, but soon enough you dive into fireworks of complex and creative puzzles in this adventure that will have you scratching your head a few times, but are very rewarding to figure out. The mask puzzle and the levers/sink puzzle in the sewer area, the 'bring a cross to its grave to light a wall torch' puzzle, the stealth type gameplay for the secret in the library, the start/stop boulder puzzle and the complex push/raising block puzzle were all original, interesting and fun to solve. And in the end they were all in one way or another a part of the over-arching torch puzzle. Excellent and very clever design! On the downside, it really is not an easy level to figure out and when I played it for the second time, I only had about half the net gaming time vs the first attempt. Also you will likely have to get and use one secret if you cannot master the expert challenge of the timed trapdoors, which is really rather tricky - not necesarily a fair gameplay design there. Speaking of secrets, some of them are maybe a little too hard to get to be really enjoyable, but they are certainly creatively placed. Overall though, a great debut level, in which the author brings his extensive experience as a player to life and does it so well that we can only hope to see more levels from him soon. (55 mins, 5 secrets)." - MichaelP (01-Mar-2010)

"Speaking of puntastic names, this is not it. The name just makes me think of a Kill Bill/Resident Evil mash-up, and nowhere in the story does it explain who this Jill is, and I'm left to assume that Jill was the final enemy and that my goal this entire time was to kill her. Or something. Not that anyone's playing these Back to Basics levels for their stories. Gameplay-wise, the level fares a bit better. It's a surprisingly difficult level at times, with a tight timed run and a tricky push-block puzzle. If you're an average player, I recommend you make sure to find at least one of the secrets (your best bet is the one that requires sneaking, as you don't need to search for it), or you might not make it through the almost-final torch gauntlet (if you do find at least one secret, however, it's a cakewalk). There are some inspired parts, like the aforementioned block puzzle and the sneaking you need to do to reach a secret, but overall, the gameplay drags too much. It's often difficult to know what you need to do, and even when you do know what to do, your tasks have this sort of lack of urgency to them that made everything feel a bit boring. The look of the level doesn't help. Perhaps to give the level a spooky atmosphere because of the underlying story, this isn't the sunny and happy Venice we've all come to know and love. The sky is overcast and the lighting is sort of flat and dull, but rather than suit the atmosphere, it just makes exploring the level boring. Likewise, the actual architecture isn't all that interesting, with a lot of long corridors between buildings and many large areas that aren't used to their full potential. There are some nicer areas like a small graveyard, but overall, this isn't the most visually inspired Back to Basics level this year. When the level ended after forty minutes, I was kind of glad to have it over with. The author does have some good ideas, but needs to polish everything up and make the whole package a bit tighter for his or her next level." - Magnus (28-Feb-2010)

"This level has many nice challenges with a fresh appeal, but I found it quite complex. There is a very difficult jump sequence on moving trap doors and a rather tough (but short) timed run. Possibly, one has to do the trap door dance twice (maybe a simpler version the second time) to get all secrets, but I reverted to an old savegame when I didn't find an alternative way forward after collecting one of them. Otherwise the main difficulty is to find out what to do. There are not many traps and even fewer enemies to kill, and even though one of them could conceivably be named Jill, there is little in the game that suggests a hunt for a dangerous opponent. To my satisfaction, the secrets are easy to spot (the last one might well be overlooked, though), but hard to get." - Bogey (26-Feb-2010)

"This was a tough level if you wanted to play the expert version, but an easier version was also provided, the choice was yours. Want to get the Trophy; you have to work for it. Play it safe, you have to pay with one of the secret roses. Good lighting and atmosphere, textures ok. All in all a well built level." - Dutchy (13-Feb-2010)

"I'm glad I had a chance to get back to this one after initially being stopped by a timed trapdoor made deliberately tight. Loved the rolling boulder puzzle once I figured it out and the choice to play the expert route or an easier version was quite clever. One could play a combination of both by going for some of the expert secrets such as the jump/turn at the point of a building to reach a balcony in another building. Very clever and I think, new for most Raiders. Moving the harps was an interesting puzzle and going for another secret from there was a plus. Gameplay is smooth if one does everything in a linear fashion and as I did not, I found myself in the Cemetery with much confusion. The Jill of the title is the Witchy thing at the end and once she's gone, the ending is abrupt and I found myself wanting more. This is interesting, different and once you see the plan behind it, it all becomes great fun." - Bene (13-Feb-2010)

"Even though I am now playing the last 10 levels in the competition, the quality has not dipped at all. This is a very cleverly thought-out level (though I did require the walkthrough), that will have you running around for about an hour. The gameplay revolves around sneaky levers, lever and block push puzzles and a torch puzzle. Enemies were few, only a few gangsters and 'Jill'. Secrets are easy to find, however, there was a nice sub-plot revolving around finding a secret. The camera work was slightly beginner-ish, as the flybys seemed to fast and swaying (making me feel sea sick), however the atmosphere and sounds were used well. The texturing was good, however, nothing spectacular was shown, so I cannot give the full 10. Overall, a very good level, demonstrating how high the quality is for all of the levels. 1 hour 5 mins, 2 secrets." - Cory (10-Feb-2010)

"In spite of the rather violent sounding name, enemies are nearly absent from this level, and gameplay is strongly puzzle- and platforming-oriented: just what I love! The level is chock-full of puzzles that can be extremely interesting or utterly obscure (depending on your point of view). On the obscure front, there’s an underwater levers puzzle in which there’s no way of knowing which levers should and shouldn’t be used except by trial and error, or the rolling ball puzzle which still makes no sense to me (surely it would be more logical to stop the rolling balls at the end of the lit parts instead of just before?). But on the other hand, there are a couple of very good pushblock puzzles, including one which managed to impress me thoroughly, in spite of my general dislike of long pushblock puzzles.
The secrets form an integral part of the gameplay here – so much so, that perhaps the builder should not have made them optional at all, as missing some or all of them would deprive a player from experiencing a large portion of the level.
There seemed to be something definitely off about the flybys – too fast perhaps? I can’t quite put my finger on it. The music and atmosphere are not bad, and the textures and lighting are technically sound, though a bit dull.
I have awarded this level a perfect score in the gameplay category, even though the gameplay really isn’t perfect. Quite possibly, I would have been less impressed with this level if I had played it before the walkthrough became available, and my score probably would have reflected that. But despite this, I still stand by my score, which is meant as a testament to my enjoyment of the level, rather than indicating that the gameplay is flawless. In short, highly recommended – but keep the walkthrough handy." - Mytly (08-Feb-2010)

"In this level you´ll find interesting, clever and thoughtful puzzles, which are the highlight of this level. Once Lara must solve a complex pushable puzzle above several floors, then there is a somewhat unusual switch-rollingball puzzle, a riddle with water flow in the sewer and finally a large torch puzzle. In addition, there were two really hard Timeruns. The first one to get the trapdoor is necessary, the second one with the torch over the flapping trapdoors is genius figured out and perfectly calculated, but can be circumvented. Here, then, I must criticize, however, that at least one secret must be found to do this. Another solution would have been better. The implementation and embedding of the puzzles into the gameplay could also have been better. So I found the architecture and the design of the area well done, but not optimal. Atmosphere and sound were okay, but not nice. Overall a good level of increased difficulty." - repley (05-Feb-2010)

"A very elaborate entry that took about almost an hour and a half for me to finish. Lots of puzzles to get you thinking, including switches, underwater currents, pushable and rising blocks. If you have enough patience this will be one of the most enjoyable levels yet. The secrets are also engaging and will take an observant eye to reach in most cases, and are rewarding in that finding at least one lets you skip what looks like a very tough trapdoor run, a choice I elected to make. Were that run mandatory, I might have even marked down for it, but as it was I had an excellent experience with this level. The one thing I would improve upon would be to not make so much of the level structure revolve around getting secrets, so that more focus could go toward the rest of the gameplay. Other than that this is a high-quality entry." - SSJ6Wolf (01-Feb-2010)

"Interesting entry this one. This is a fine Venice setting with a good layout of canals and areas, but the main point that stands out about the level is the ingenious, elaborate puzzles. Technically, the puzzles are done very well and present some unique challenges, such as a "stealth" room for a secret, but there is also an interesting water current puzzle, an interesting perspective on a switches puzzle, a boulder puzzle, as well as some elaborate pushing puzzles thrown in. These make for interesting challenges that give the player a nice feeling of satisfaction upon completing them. One challenge was a tiny bit irritating, containing a very tight timed run that I managed to get past just in the nick of time. There is also an optional secret challenge that involves a fiendish sequence of timed trapdoors, which I did try but ultimately skipped as I wished to end the level on a good note. As far as the other areas go, I liked the idea of the "stealth" room and the guard that would close the secret way if the player messed up. The secrets in this level are truly deserving of their title, as they are incredibly challenging. I managed to find only two of them. The level has an interesting atmosphere due to the chosen background track, but music cues are used well and camera hints are amply provided, giving a smooth flow to this complex adventure. While I did feel that some of the textures were wallpapered, or placed in odd spots, the level's appearance is good on the eyes overall. My only gripe, not really a gripe though, was that with the title of the level being "Kill Jill," I was hoping for a Jill sandwich at the end. ;)" - Relic Hunter (01-Feb-2010)

"This level is very interesting, because the riddles are very intelegent and it is fun, to solve there. The ambience is not very nice, because the lighting is boring, all is grey in grey, water how outsidrooms - a little bit of colour more, and one sun in every room - it must be - and this wouldnt be one of the best levels of this contest. The very interesting riddles, few enemies, 1 hour of the play time - very recomendable for all!" - masha (29-Jan-2010)

"This level is a bit hard to rate for me considering I played the beta version during development and have seen it change (and improve) in various ways. It has some very challenging sequences in it, but it has the wise choice of making by far the toughest sequence skippable; I'm not so sure on linking that to secrets, but the non-linear design means you can always go elsewhere and find one if you haven't already and are stuck. The block puzzles did get slightly laborious but they generally involve enough thought to make up for it. The level makes very good use of the torch, and almost all the gameplay is built around lighting it and moving it elsewhere. There are also some other creative ideas and puzzles (and the secrets themselves are quite developed).
The level has a gloomy late-afternoon atmosphere that is quite different from other levels in the contest I've played so far, and the atmosphere is somewhat mysterious and creepy (helped by very few enemies); the textures and lighting support this well too. Another highlight of the contest." - Mman (27-Jan-2010)

"And boy, was I happy when I finally got to kill Jill (one of those masked ghosts that are all over this year's BtB's levels)! In fact, Jill gave me a headache and not everyone would understand me if I told them so. I'm not going to say the level is confusing, because it isn't really, but you have to have am eagle eye for details and maybe find the secrets (I only found one even though I understood how to get others - not all, though) because they may make your life simpler. There is a tough timed run and at least one push puzzle with harps and a cross that aren't really obvious and a lot more that I can't really remember anymore. In fact, right from the start things aren't very obvious. As I said, not confusing but cryptic. Other than that, the level looks good even though it's not eye candy. And I can't remember the music and sounds even though I'm sure they're there. A good level that I couldn't call a "nice level"." - Jorge22 (27-Jan-2010)

"In my opinion the level name does not correspond to the level. If I read Kill Jill, I must think of course immediately of Kill Bill by Quentin Tarantino. And in this film the protagonist kills so many opponents which I had already feared which becomes this level one single amok run. But this was luckily not the case. Two mafia dudes and completely at the end a Demigod. That's all. Actually the level only consisted of riddles and the search for five Secrets. And what were that for riddles!! Rollingballs with which Lara burns if they roll too long. A riddle with two harps and a cross which one had to push up and down about several footbridges. An underwater riddle with which one had to put the current properly so that Lara does not get in an propeller. But the real kicker was the Expert-Challenge. A run with the torch above trapdoors. One needed this torch to open a door where a heart lay behind. These trapdoors were put so nasty which I have used forever and a day to come from one landing stage to the other. Against this was the jump on a roof-edge with concurrent rotation about 180 degrees to jump from a balcony to another balcony the purest rest. Not only the riddles were very good. Also the level in itself looks very nice. Very well built and wonderfully textured. Everything is there, which with the inclined player has a lot of fun." - Scottie (25-Jan-2010)

"Another top notch entry in 2010 Btb ! Any gameplay can be spiced up by hunting for secrets along the way but should not be dominated or even ruled thereby . The hunt for 5 secrets in this adventure only seems to stretch the gameplay somehow thus confusing the player on his way to proceed in the game , never being too sure if its the right way to carry on or just a complicated path to reach a secret that you don`t need anyway ! Although all this is very well designed and logical , 5 secrets in a single level BtB seems a little bit overdone . Try out to Kill Jill yourself and comment !" - Ruben (23-Jan-2010)

"I have to say it right away: Another highlight of the contest. Tremendously complex areas have been connected with each other here. The storyline plays at night, which leads to the level being fairly dark. Many corners feel spooky, for example the cemetery and the underground areas. I liked the colour spots via the lighted crosses. Gameplay took me in right from the start and is very convincing with its clever ideas to integrate the secrets into the game, smartly designed push puzzles or tightly timed sequences to master :). I did get ambitious of course with the run over the timed trapdoors and kept trying until I finally made it without the help of the secret rose. I the area under the cemetery I was a bit stuck and solved the lever puzzle with help from the forum. And I probably did not get what was going on with the underwater levers, as I did not pull one at all… whatever, I enjoyed this immensely until the very end." - Eva (17-Jan-2010)

"This is an example of the complex and difficult levels that seem to typify this year's BtB competition. I had the advantage of Dutchy's advance walkthrough, but it nevertheless required about an hour and a half to find and kill Jill. A highlight of the level is that elaborate puzzle where you move two harps in order to open a door high up in the wall. If not for the walkthrough my monitor would have suffered major damage via a flying hard object or two. I also fried a number of times in the four-switch room before I figured out that you had to push the switches back up so that the boulders would stop rolling. After that it was duck soup. I rather foolishly chose the Expert Route about halfway through the level. After a number of unsuccessful tries I finally flew to the balcony, only to find that the only benefits of getting there were an Expert's Prize and a sense of satisfaction for those who obtained it legally. While there was no crawling around in sewers as was the case in Door to Venice, there's not much of a Venetian atmosphere here. Most of the action takes place indoors, where you might as well be in Morocco or Iceland, and the player gets little exposure to the quaint canals and architecture of Venice. And, while the gameplay here is quite well thought out and executed, it gives the feeling of hard work as opposed to having fun. I'm not averse to putting my nose to the grindstone in my day job, but I play Tomb Raider primarily for relaxation and enjoyment. You don't experience much of that in this level. Still, it's a worthy effort that will probably rank high in the final standings, and deservedly so." - Phil (15-Jan-2010)

"This level features intricate puzzles, though the real point is probably the secrets. These add tremendously to the game, and are not of the open-a-door-and-find-a-medipack variety, but involve lengthy paths and difficult maneuvers, so I have rated them highly. At the beginning, Lara seemed to be making real progress, completing clever tasks in rooms, but then it would turn out everything was for a secret. In order to get things going I had to read the forum, and find a hidden timed underwater lever. Play is not easy to fathom, as Lara has to remove a cross from a cemetery, and push it into an underground area that looks like a mine, and this seems counterintuitive. A main puzzle involves moving and placing two harps, but this room was mostly about flipping switches until the right platforms rise or fall, and moving harps accordingly. When the puzzle is solved an upper door opens. At the start of the game, Lara had gotten a yellow key, opened an outer door and been immediately blocked by this same inner door. Now it becomes clear all that is for a secret, so that Lara can make jumps with a lit torch. Things that were highly frustrating at the start of the level turn out to have a purpose. The lighting is on the dark side, and the architecture not very ornate. Initially it seemed there would be lots to explore in buildings, but actually the aboveground rooms are limited, not much more than what Lara sees in getting the first secrets, plus the room with the two harps. Much action takes place underground, or underwater, in dismal tunnels and a mine. This is the perfect level for anyone who enjoys brainteaser puzzles, or who wants to take on an (optional) expert challenge of a torch run over floppy trapdoors." - dmdibl (11-Jan-2010)

"This is a level with expert challenges and, when it says ‘expert’ it’s not kidding. The builder has kindly ensured that the insanely difficult platform run can be bypassed however, which just leaves tasks to achieve that mere humans can accomplish. The puzzles may prove daunting to some players, but to those who love puzzles (and I am one) they will provide a real treat. This is a most cleverly devised and intelligent level and definitely one of the top contenders of the contest." - Jay (10-Jan-2010)

"This level should be one of the most demading of this BtB. Soon after the beginning you may become a bit baffled about the complexity of things, but in the end everything falls amazingly into it´s place. The cchallenge won´t be only the overall complexity, but also in the very devirsified tasks you have to fulfill, which involves nice puzzle, like an elegant multlayered pushable puzzle, an underwater-lever puzzle with sinks,tough timed tasks, a five wall switch-puzzle and a complex torch-puzzle etc. On the top of it you`ll get an insanely hard trapdoor run, but calm down, you get the opportunity to avoid it, if you want. The whole level is utterly well concieved and very engrossing. A part of the nice challenge is to get the 5 difficult secrets, among which I especially liked the one, you get by an extension of the excellent torch puzzle. Atmosphere, texturing and lighting is also of a high standard and fully supports the nicely staged darkly mystical story. As you may have noticed, I really love this level and higly recommand it especially to the more expierenced players." - Raymond (07-Jan-2010)
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